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* AcceptableEthnicTargets: The token Irish immigrant is a filthy drunk.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Plenty. Mostly centering around [[CowboyCop Agent]] [[KnightTemplar Edgar]] [[ShootTheDog Ross.]]
** Captain [=DeSanta=]. Pure {{Jerkass}} or just a coward with some redeeming sides, only not brave enough to against Allende's orders? [[spoiler:The latter would be supported by the beginning of the mission "Cowards Die Many Times", where he is shown hesitating at first when Allende orders him to go with Marston (with the intent to have [=DeSanta=] betray him).]] Also, his earlier comments on Abraham Reyes [[spoiler:turns out to be completely true and not just some mean spirited insults that Allende's words on the rebels lean more towards. Though considering that said reluctance [=DeSanta=] shows when being told to betray Marston would indeed indicate that a part of him did like the guy, but in the end his blind admiration for Allende outdid any hesitation.]]
*** Interestingly, John's own opinion of [=DeSanta=] [[spoiler:that he mentions after his death is that [=DeSanta=] was "Dumb and loyal to his awful master, but that's all he was."]] apparently not holding any resentful feelings for him himself.
* AnticlimaxBoss: [[spoiler:Dutch]], and really, The Big Three all qualify. [[spoiler:Bill]] is handed over to you by the resident Evil General in Mexico, and [[spoiler:Escuella]] only manages to flee for a few minutes before you catch or kill him. Even [[spoiler:Dutch]] throws himself off a cliff after a brief chase sequence. If you discount [[spoiler:Ross']] final duel, the game doesn't have any bosses at all, really.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic:
** "Far Away" by Jose Gonzalez.
** "Deadman's Gun." Admit it: [[TearJerker you cried.]]
** "Compass" playing as John [[spoiler:makes his way back to his family.]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg-yC0xcI9s "Triggernometry"]] [[spoiler:Which plays as John and Uncle fight off the U.S. Army in a last stand.]]
** William Elliott Whitmore's rendition of the famous cowboy folk song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxKckHuHx_0 Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie]]. No instruments, no fancy audio tricks, just Whitmore singing. And that's all it needs to [[TearJerker tug at your heartstrings.]]
* CompleteMonster:
** [[TheGeneralissimo Colonel]] Agustin [[ArcVillain Allende]] is the [[AntagonisticGovernor cruel and corrupt governor]] of Nuevo Paraiso. Though Allende comes from peasant stock himself, once in power he becomes an [[TheCaligula oppressive dictator]] who brutalizes the common people he rules over, keeping them poor, starving and without hope. One of Allende’s darker pleasures is frequently having women abducted and sent to his villa so that [[SerialRapist he can rape them]]. After [[PlayerCharacter John Marston]] arrives in Mexico while trying to hunt down two members of his old gang, Allende promises to help him in return for his services. Allende uses Marston as a tool in his war against the rebels opposing his rule, regularly sending a reluctant Marston out to kill them, including one instance where Marston has to burn down their village of Tesoro Azul. Unfortunately for John, Allende had not only never planned on upholding his end of the bargain, he had actually been harboring the outlaws John was hunting, and tries to have John executed [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness once he’s outlived his usefulness.]] While he hides behind a [[NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist façade of good intentions]], in reality Allende is a [[TheHedonist depraved hedonist]] who [[ItsAllAboutMe only cares about himself]].
** [[SerialKiller Randall Forrester]] is a [[AxCrazy deranged man]] who lives in the wilderness by himself and who serves as the culprit behind a string of serial murders and disappearances in the game. Forrester is a [[IAmAHumanitarian cannibal]], justifying himself with "a man's gotta eat!" Forrester will kidnap and eat anyone: men, women or children, and shows no remorse for any of his crimes. When hero John Marston catches him with an escaping victim, Forrester enlists the ignorant Marston's help in subduing the man, clearly relishing the victim's terror.
* CriticalResearchFailure: Everything Professor [=MacDougal=] does is rife with this, as a representation of "science" during that time.
** Borders on TruthInTelevision. He really isn't very far off from what was considered "anthropology" at the time.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: Despite John himself being portrayed as a sympathetic character, one might have this reaction to this game, seeing as very few of his good deeds go unpunished. The only sympathetic character of all of the cast who didn't get apathetic is Jack, John's son. [[spoiler:But by the time the game's ending came around, he just became as bad as John himself after he killed Ross, and basically became the very man John didn't want him to become]]. One could only hope the sequel could have a flicker of light pierce this trope... but after [[VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption2 it]] was revealed as a '''''prequel''''' instead of a sequel, even that hope seemed to fade.
** In case it helps a bit, it has been rumored that [[VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption2 the prequel]] will be less dark and more optimistic.
* DemonicSpiders:
** Cougars. OneHitKill in multiplayer. Virtually silent in the snow. Not fun.
** The cougars in particular get an excellent EstablishingCharacterMoment highlighting their deadly stealth in one of the late-game story missions (see ShmuckBait on the main work page).
** Both cougars and bears each have a certain tiny area on the map where multiple copies of the animal spawn until a "legendary" version of it pops up. This means you may be forced into running laps around a cabin with a dozen hungry pumas behind you.
** Packs of wolves aren't exactly easy, especially since three or four of them attack at once.
*** Given the way the spawning mechanism for animals works in this game, you can be swarmed by nearly a ''dozen'' of them in some areas. Don't get too cozy wandering the desert outside Chuparosa.
** Generally speaking, when it comes to bears ''and'' wolves, the game makes sure you're on edge fighting either, or especially ''both'' at the same time because killing any of the two always results in ''more'' coming straight for you in waves. Before you know it, what was one wolf pack becomes a small army and what was one bear becomes the entire forests worth of grizzlies coming down upon you.
** For a human example, those guys with shotguns who always seem to be at such an angle that you can't shoot them from outside the room they're in.
* DisappointingLastLevel: [[spoiler:Or well, disappointing last ''missions''. Once John's reunited with his family, the game continues as the only missions left are just John helping out around the farm and going on hunts with Jack, which had most players bored. Then it's defied again as the very last mission turns out to be John having to defend his family against the army sent by Ross to kill them, with John sacrificing himself while Abigail and Jack escape.]]
* EpilepticTrees: [[http://reddead.wikia.com/wiki/Strange_Man/Speculation#Interpretations The Strange Man]] is pretty much the biggest magnet for fan speculation in the game.
* EnsembleDarkHorse:
** It's Herbert MOOOOOON! The Armadillo store owner who, when he is not busy getting robbed or playing poker, only sells 100% American produced wares, [[ConspiracyTheorist free of the Jewish/foreign conspiracy known as the "South Western Railroads"]].
** Landon Ricketts is very popular as well, especially considering he's only featured in four missions. Rockstar received a large amount of complaints for not including him as an online playable character.
** Seth is also a very popular character for his generally hilarious demeanour.
* EthnicScrappy:
** Irish, Welsh, and French.
** Averted with French (well, what little we see of him.) His nationality is only known by his nickname and him being said to be French by others; he lacks an accent. John even comments on this when talking to Irish later on.
* EvilIsSexy: Some players find [[spoiler:[=DeSanta=]]] this. It might have to do with [[ArousedByTheirVoice his voice actor being Hector Bustamante.]]
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: Played for laughs with the silent films.
-->Medical science will KILL YOU and LEAVE YOU DEAD!
* {{Fanon}}: Many, if not most, fans cling to [[spoiler:a ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' EasterEgg heavily implying that Jack somehow manages to subvert his DownerEnding after all]]. Understandable, given the sheer DarknessInducedAudienceApathy here.
* GameBreaker:
** In one of the side missions, you are asked to play Liar's Dice against a man in Thieves' Landing, in order to get the deed to a property. The collateral on the deed is $200, so technically he puts down $200 every time he plays (even after you get the deed). Also, this guy is TERRIBLE and never runs out of money, so a half-hour to an hour and a three year-old's skill at Liar's Dice is all that's required for all the money you could ever want.
** You can buy +100 units of Fame and +200 units of Honor for the low low price of $10 a pop as many times as you want, all you need is a few hundred dollars to get started. Go to Thieves Landing and buy the Elegant Suit for $75. Now, return to [=MacFarlane's=] Ranch, change outfit to the Elegant Suit and save. Head to the poker game and buy in for $10, skip to your turn, get caught cheating immediately and win the resulting duel by shooting the gun out of your opponent's hand. Repeat until there are no opponents left, save the game and they will all respawn. As the [=MacFarlane's=] Ranch poker table almost always has four players at all times of day and the cheapest buy in, you can rinse and repeat this process to get your Honor/Fame to Hero/Legendary status with all the benefits that brings (i.e. half price in all shops that aren't at Thieves Landing) very early in the game. If you run out of money, simply do the night watchman mission (also nearby) which can usually earn $40-90.
** A smaller example in the side mission where a guy challenges you to a race to see who can gather herbs the fastest. Nothing's stopping you from getting on your horse to find these herbs while the guy will run on his feet. Even if you play fair and use your legs, jabbing the run button will make John run faster than the herb guy anyhow.
* GoodBadBugs:
** Behold, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYdCvN-ukRY mutant]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVVXyKP1FVk freak]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q7v4F8r9Og people]].
** And on the flip side, a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFoMvLmfFEY talking dog]] (complete with a [[JustAStupidAccent Mexican Accent]]) that hands you a shotgun upon meeting it, and that's also strong enough to give you an ally-oop up the wall and into the enemy gang's hideout. Oh, and it levitates too.
** And although this technically isn't a bug, you can use two horse deeds to quicksave your game if you don't feel like spending time sitting through the campsite animations. [[GameBreaker This can also be abused for quick cash-call horse, kill horse, skin horse, sell horse parts, repeat.]]
** After the mission in Mexico where you must board and stop a moving train before it goes across a boobytrapped railroad bridge one can still hop on a train and ride, without stopping, across the gap where the destroyed bridge was. It's surreal, to say the least.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y63pRcjL9jM&feature=player_detailpage#t=535s And now you can kiss fair competition in multiplayer goodbye.]]
** Ah, the Handheld Self-Propelled Homing Dynamite Grenade! The weapon of the discerning cowboy!
** With the release of the DLC, free roam games would not spawn any {{Non Player Character}}s anywhere, which meant that merely approaching a gang hideout would cause it to instantly complete. Replay ad nauseum for infinite XP.
** A nice time saving bug is that you can skip the skinning animation by having your horse stand on top of the animal carcass.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7q7v4F8r9Og And a hang gliding horse!]].
** It's possible to travel to West Elizabeth in the main story before you've progressed that far. Become Wanted by the police and let them chase you to the river behind [=MacFarlane's=] ranch (usually by the waterfall works best) and surrender at the cliffs there. Behold: you will be put in the Blackwater jail! Enjoy catching the black stallion and gathering valuable pelts you'll need for certain side missions or 'Challenges' long before you're supposed to be able to. (Note that the only way to get back is by using a stagecoach, and 'skipping' the trip.)
** Sometimes when whistling for your horse, they run right past you, and you have to chase after it. It's annoying when it happens, but the idea that John Marston, the biggest badass in the west, has to run after his stubborn horse is hilarious.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** John Marston Is Gonna Film/KillBill. The Bride's famous quote is even similar to that of John's story (so long as you overlook the fact that John ultimately had one more person to kill). [[note]]''"Looked dead, didn't I? But I wasn't. And it wasn't for lack of trying, I can tell you that. Actually, Bill's last bullet put me in a coma. A coma I was to lie in for four years. When I woke up, I went on what the movie advertisements referred to as a RoaringRampageOfRevenge. I roared. I rampaged. And I got bloody satisfaction. I've killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point, but I have only one more. The last one. The one I'm driving to right now. The only one left. And when I arrive at my destination... I am gonna KILL BILL."'' [[/note]]
** The SequelDisplacement between ''Redemption'' and its less known predecessor ''Revolver''. It became somewhat of a FandomBerserkButton whenever someone called a possible sequel Red Dead Redemption 2 instead of something like Red Dead 3 or Red Dead (Insert entirely new word here) but [[https://twitter.com/rockstargames/status/788363842329903104 but come the official announcement of a new game in the series...]]
** Just like his character, Rob Wiethoff is a laid back, down-to-earth family man who doesn't prioritize (acting) work as he will rather stay at home and support his wife and sons.
* HoYay: However brief their on-screen interactions are, there appears to have been some of this between John and [[spoiler:Javier Escuella. John will tell Abraham Reyes that he and Javier were close, and apart from Bill or Dutch who does little more but belittle John, he and Javier will chew each other out as if they're unhappy about how things turned out between them. In an attempt to make John drop his guard, Javier will even say "I always loved you". ]]
* IdiotProgramming: Rockstar's reason for there not being a PC version in a nutshell; the game's code is a jumbled, crazed mess, and they didn't want a repeat of [[PortingDisaster the GTA4 fiasco]].
* ItWasHisSled: [[spoiler:John Marston dies.]]
* MemeticBadass:
** Herbert Moon, the general store owner in Armadillo, has become a minor one on Website/GameFAQs.
** Cougars are the [[Franchise/JurassicPark velociraptors]] of the Old West. This is, however, entirely justified.
** So is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGc8y_suo9E Herbert Moon's]] badassedry.
** Also John Marston. He's practically a OneManArmy.
* MemeticMutation:
** [=PS3=] has [[spoiler:NOGRASS]]
** Over on Website/GameFAQs they seem to have this nasty habit of interrupting people mid-sent'''''* COUGAR'D* '''''
** "And thus John Marston, one of the great legends of the West, [[SuperDrowningSkills drowned in five inches of water."]]
* {{Misblamed}}: When R* announced that Xbox One now supports RDR through its backwards compatibility, hordes of people started demanding a PlayStation 4 port/remaster "as well". Never mind the fact that it's not a port nor a remaster[[note]]It's like claiming that playing a Win95 game on a Win10 is a port, or that a PS1 game played on a PS2 is a remaster[[/note]], and that R* has no power over PS4's hardware.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** For most of his screentime in the game, Edgar Ross merely seems to be a [[JerkAss snide asshole]] of a KnightTemplar who is holding John's family hostage to force him into hunting down his former gang members. He's definitely unlikable (if [[WellIntentionedExtremist well-intentioned for the most part]]), but after John has lived up to his end of the bargain, Ross finally allows him to return to his family. [[spoiler:However, he's not quite done yet, and [[YankTheDogsChain after leaving the Marstons alone for some time]], he goes back on his word and sends the Army to kill John. ''And they do''. As John takes his last, ragged breaths, Ross just lights a cigar and watches, with a smug grin on his face.]] Of course, this despicable act made Ross become a massive HateSink.
** Colonel Agustin Allende crosses the line between keeping his regime and [[ForTheEvulz outright sadism]]. However, [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil his most depraved act]] is frequently having women abducted and sent to his villa so that he can rape them.
* MostAnnoyingSound:
** Any citizen crying for help for the 50th time.
*** For more specific examples: "HELP! IT'S HERBERT MOOOOOOOON!!!" or "HELP! DEY TOOK MAH HORSE!"
** When you're trying to get the [[AndYourRewardIsClothes Walton's Gang Outfit]] by clearing out all the other poker players in Armadillo, you're stuck with listening to Herbert Moon bitching and moaning about Jews over and over ''and over again''
* {{Narm}}:
** At the end of the game, [[spoiler:there's a timeskip of three years, making Jack older as he goes to revenge his father. Because of giving him the same character model as John Marston, however, added with a bearded face, Jack looks like he's aged about 15 years instead of only three.]]
** When you unlock the Bandito outfit, it enables you to wear a large sombrero which can be rather comical looking, especially if you have John wear it during missions with serious discussions.
** While the game understandably only has so many [=NPC=]s with distinct appearances the creators bothered to make, in Mexico there is one particular rebel [=NPC=] (specifically the bald man with broad shoulders and a green scarf) that you will see over and over and ''over'' again, whether he's the random rebel you kill, the rebel holding a man hostage in Tesoro Azul, the rebel helping you save [[spoiler:Abraham Reyes]] and later help you look for Escuella, chances are you will eventually get tired of seeing and/or killing this guy over and over again.
* ParanoiaFuel:
** Cougars, the ninjas of the west.
** Which leads to ProperlyParanoid, as you'd be looking at your back more often than you would think.
* PlayerPunch: [[spoiler:The main character dies.]]
* PolishedPort: The backwards compatible version released for Xbox One, while keeping the visuals mostly the same, greatly improves the game's framerate, which could dip pretty low on the original hardware. This is especially impressive because the compatibility is achieved via emulation, and the fact many other backwards compatible 360 games actually run worse on the One.
* ReplacementScrappy: [[spoiler:Jack Marston. Quite a few players see him as completely lacking his father's gritty charisma, especially in his {{One Liner}}s, and therefore find him annoying to play.]]
* TheScrappy:
** [[spoiler:Jack Marston is considered this in some internet communities. For one thing because he's an annoying kid, and for another because his missions take place in the mountains, which are crawling with bears and cougars. Oh, and because he [[ReplacementScrappy takes over as the main character when you finish the story]], with no way to play as John Marston again outside of loading an old save or starting a new game.]]
** And while many consider Herbert Moon the EnsembleDarkHorse, many hate him to an extent that they consider him this. He is truly the love him or hate him character of Red Dead Redemption. [[spoiler:He makes a return in Undead Nightmare to show us more of what we love about him, his homophobic, antisemetic, xenophobic, sexist and racist attitudes. Then you get to see zombies eat him.]]
** Harold [=MacDougal=], easily the most annoying character in the game, mostly because of the sneaking suspicion that we're actually meant to find him funny. This idea that his racism is a quaint old ineffectual footnote in history that we can all laugh at doesn't quite gel with the broader subtext of the story at that point and your role in it (i.e. helping the army force its way into a Native American settlement and slaughter everyone inside). There's also they way he treated [[NiceGuy Nastas]].
** They seem to have realised this and in Undead Nightmare, [[spoiler:he's killed by an Undead Nastas]].
** The horse you get with negative honor. It's slower than the top-tier horses, and has a tendency to randomly replace your current horse upon whistle. It's speciality is that it runs just as fast on roads and off-road, but it's better to just use a faster horse on roads to escape opponents.
* ScrappyMechanic:
** The SuperDrowningSkills.
** While not as scrappy, pulling out your weapon will freak the entire town out, even if it was accidental.
** Shooting at certain{{Non Player Character}}s will make them hostile. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, try averting a bandit raid on Armadillo and not deal with the angry [=NPCs=] you might have accidentally shot at during the gunfight. It gets really annoying when the enemies seem to purposefully situate themselves in front of the [=NPCs=].
** Sometimes, the navigational pathing for your horse can leave you locked on certain patches of terrain and even send you off a steep cliff to your deaths, no matter how much you try to steer.
* SequelDisplacement: By the time of October 2016, some didn't even know there even ''was'' a previous game, and reporting news of a sequel as ''Red Dead Redemption 2'' became a minor FandomBerserkButton. That is, of course, [[HilariousInHindsight until it was actually called that]].
* SurprisinglyImprovedSequel: ''VideoGame/RedDeadRevolver'' had a great soundtrack and atmosphere, but the gameplay, while fun, didn't really stand out from the crowd. ''Red Dead Redemption'', however, features a beautiful and wide-open world to explore, much more to do, and an arguably better storyline, while losing none of its predecessor's strengths.
* ThatOneLevel:
** The early mission where Bonnie challenges you to a horse race is genuinely hard to win as most players are still learning the controls at this point and Bonnie's horse goes quite fast. Weirdly enough, the two races you join later on against several competitors, (one on horseback, another in a carriage) are a lot easier to win as the competitors, in difference to Bonnie, ''don't'' spur their horses, meaning it barely takes any effort to outrun them.
** The horse wrangling mission. Big time. The regular horses are handleable, but the stallion... well, lets just say [[WakeUpCallBoss it makes you learn the ropes the hard way]].
** The cow herding missions, full stop.
** While fighting off hundreds of crows, you will very probably [[NonStandardGameOver destroy your corn]] as one errant shot is all it takes.
** Any hostage level where you need to save someone who is being held by the gunman a point blank range and you only have a split-second to save them.
* ThatOneSidequest: There are a couple Hunter challenges that can fall into this.
** One is to kill two cougars with your knife. The cougar is a GlassCannon without a lot of health, but it hits hard enough that if you don't have a completely full health bar, it ''will'' one-shot you. Add to that its stealthy hit-and-run tactics and this can be an exercise in frustration. Cougar comes out of nowhere and pounces, killing your horse and knocking you down, sometimes damaging you as well. It runs off and hides in the bushes, and you get up just in time for it to pounce again and finish you off. Better master that dive-roll.
** Another requires you to kill a ''[[BearsAreBadNews bear]]'' with your knife. Unlike the cougar, it doesn't run off after attacking, and it has a lot more health.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: Quite a few players feel this way toward [[spoiler:Ross]] during the epilogue mission "Remember My Family." It tries to convey a NotSoDifferent side to him via [[spoiler:his wife and brother]]. But if anything, it only makes said players hate him even more, feeling like it only gives him extra {{Hypocrite}} points regarding [[spoiler:all of his horrible treatment toward John's own innocent family]] -- to the point where some, if not most, of said players have actually decided to [[spoiler:kill said wife and brother]] in order to make [[spoiler:Ross]] feel the same pain that he uncaringly caused [[spoiler:Jack]].
* WhatAnIdiot: When in Mexico, you kind of have to wonder how John didn't think ahead enough to get that [[spoiler:going back to the Mexican army after having saved Abraham Reyes, the number one person they wanted dead, couldn't possibly end well for him. While he does suspect that [=DeSanta=] is lying about having found Bill and Javier, he still falls head first into their trap.]] Landon Ricketts even calls him out prior to this noting that jumping across the fence will only result in John getting his ass impaled on it.
* TheWoobie:
** Poor Nastas is treated badly by everyone but John.
** [[spoiler:The entire Marston family. And the only surviving member, Jack, is a depressed loner whose dialogue expresses that he doesn't have much to live for and rarely says anything optimistic. All his dreams of making something of himself and becoming a writer are gone. His act of revenge towards Edgar Ross puts him on the path towards being an outlaw that his father died trying to ensure wouldn't happen. DownerEnding, no matter which way you look at it.]]
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